Arianne Zucker conducted her first interview with the media since video surfaced last week of Donald Trump making lewd, vulgar comments about her during a 2005 conversation with TV host Billy Bush. “They are offensive comments for women, period,” Zucker told Today‘s Janet Shamlian.
The actress, who plays Nicole Walker on the soap opera Days of our Lives, suggested Trump’s behavior was not surprising. When asked if she was shocked by his words, Zucker responded, “Not with that type of personality. I wasn’t shocked. Which is probably why it doesn’t mean a lot to me.” She did not say whether or not she accepted Trump’s apology, referring to the statement he released after his behavior became public knowledge – “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize,” Trump declared – only as “interesting.”
Zucker hoped that the release of the tape may lead to positive future outcomes. “I think men can learn from this how not to be in front of women or when they’re speaking about women,” she noted. “I’m ready to use it in a proper way. I’m ready to use it for positivity. I’m ready to use it for women to step forward and to do good things in my life and for other people.”
Her comments on Today echoed the language of a statement she released not long after the tape surfaced. “How we treat one another, whether behind closed doors, locker rooms or face to face, should be done with kindness, dignity and respect,” she wrote at the time. “Unfortunately, there are too many people in power who abuse their position and disregard these simple principles and are rewarded for it. In understanding the magnitude of this situation, I choose to stand tall with self respect and use my voice to enrich, inspire and elevate the best of who we are as people.”
Though Bush was recently suspended from his position as a Today show host, Zucker did not seem to blame Bush for his role in the tape. “Who knows how he was feeling when he walked off the bus or what he needed to do in the relationship,” she said. “Because when he came off the bus along with Mr. Trump, I had no feeling but professional, that’s it.”
During last Sunday’s presidential debate, Trump labeled his 2005 statements “locker room talk” and denied having kissed or groped women without consent. On Wednesday, several women came forward alleging that Trump had assaulted them on previous occasions.
Most women know Trump’s brand of misogyny – and that’s likely to cost him the White House. Watch here.